Chile’s Orange Crop to Increase

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

Orange production in Chile is forecast to increase by 22% and total 200,000 metric tons (MT) in 2022–23. The forecast was part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service’s (USDA FAS) annual citrus report for Chile. The prior season’s production, hurt by frost, was expected to be 164,000 MT.

Photo by Engin Akyurt

The area planted in oranges in Chile in 2022–23 is estimated to reach 6,400 hectares, a 0.5% increase from the prior year. Orange planted area had reached 7,389 hectares in 2011–12 but gradually decreased as producers shifted to mandarins and lemons because of their higher profitability. However, citrus producers keep a part of their area covered with orange orchards because it allows them to pace the citrus harvest and maintain production and exports steadily throughout the season.

Orange production in Chile is concentrated in the central part of the country. The Metropolitana region is the top orange-producing region, holding 39.3% of the planted orange area. The O’Higgins region holds 31.3% of the area planted. The area planted in the Metropolitana and O’Higgins regions increased in the past three years by 8.5% and 13.5%, respectively. The Coquimbo and Valparaiso regions are also important orange-production centers in Chile, but plantings decreased in those regions due to a shift of planted area to mandarins and lemons.

In 2022–23, exports are projected to improve and total 105,000 MT. Exports were expected to total 85,860 MT the prior year. The United States is Chile’s largest orange export market. Chile exports oranges to various other countries, such as Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Canada.

In 2020–21, Chile imported 3,107 MT of oranges. The United States was the main supplier of oranges, with 96% market share totaling 2,983 metric tons. Chile imported the remaining 4% of oranges from Argentina and Peru.

Source: USDA FAS

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